Added Feature - 11/11/2004
Best mayoral candidate: Anyone But Murphy
A conversation with Nick Kratsus of Bethel Park, a 25-year-old University of Pittsburgh student, founder of the Yinzer Party and possible candidate for mayor.
Writer: MARIA NICOLE SMITH
What’s with your shirt?
Well, it says "Murphy Sucks." It’s a shirt I actually picked up Downtown when I was coming home from a Pirates game. We’re thinking about possibly printing them up -- our own version for the Yinzer Party. In fact, our slogan may be "Murphy Sucks." Our current slogans are "Stop Mayor Murphy’s Weapons of Mass Taxation" and "The Regime Now." They might be changing.
Why are you interested in running for mayor?
I thought the stadium situation was a crock! Everybody voted against funding them and then the mayor going and inserting that 1-percent sales tax. … I watched as he tried to develop Fifth and Forbes avenues. One can look at the Lazarus -- that was a total mess-up. Lord & Taylor is leaving. Obviously Mayor Murphy is an idiot when it comes to finances.
There’s not even a commercial movie theater Downtown.
There’s nothing. There’s no grocery store. Soon there will be no buses leaving in the evenings and on the holidays and Sundays. What the hell is that? We’re supposed to be building up the city of Pittsburgh, not building it down. We can not only fix the problems Downtown but also fix problems throughout the city.
What are your plans for the city?
You need to have fiscal responsibility with the budget. You need to lower taxes. You’re not going to be able to tax yourself [to] prosperity like the mayor’s doing. You have to raise public awareness. You’ve gotta fix the school system. You’ve gotta work with the county. I honestly believe the city and the county need to be merged.
The formation of the Yinzer Party got you some media attention.
Ah, yes. I almost got interviewed with Mike Pintek on KDKA. I was also approached by WYEP. I wrote an op-ed in The Pitt News about how I believed I could help the city. I pledged that if enough people want me to run for mayor, then I will run for mayor. It’s better than what we have now.
Who are some of your supporters?
Right now, I have a total of eight e-mails [from supporters]. I also have people who said they would support me if I asked them to. My mom said she’d help me out. It’s a grassroots effort.
In all seriousness, are you running for mayor?
I have no plans to honestly do it, but if 10,000 people sign a petition and want me to do it, I’ll do it.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Anyone But Murphy
With the funky frames in the City Paper's web site, we put this article here in its full splendor.